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takoyaki is a writer for Bulbanews. She is interested in Japanese culture and writes about Japan-related Pokémon content, especially Japanese merchandise. She is based in the Seattle area, and aims to go to college in Japan. Outside of the forums, she can be found studying Japanese, listening to music (math rock, emo, punk) and playing her retro consoles (3DS, Vita, Wii U).
This week, the official Pokémon Anime Twitter account released a new key visual to commemorate recent developments in the Pokémon anime. The poster features the top eight trainers ranked in the Pokémon World Coronation Series, a championship to determine the world's strongest Trainer, with their Pokémon. From left to right, the trainers are: Lance with his Gyrados, Alain with his Charizard, Diantha with her Gardevoir, Ash with his Pikachu, Leon with his Charizard, Cynthia with her Garchomp, Steven with his Metagross, and Iris with her Haxorus.
The Japanese jewelry company U-TREASURE, who is known for partnering with many Japan-based and international media franchises to make character-based jewelry, will be releasing a new set of Pokémon-themed rings on May 31st. These new rings are a continuation of the U-TREASURE Pokémon ring line, which recently saw the addition of wedding and engagement rings featuring Gengar. The new rings will feature the popular Mythical Pokémon Mew, and will be available in variety of different materials.
The new Pokémon Garden Wedding line of merchandise from the Pokémon Center was announced earlier this week on April 28th. This new range of products features wedding-related items, perfect for any fans who want to have a fun-filled Pokémon wedding. Paired with U-TREASURE's Pokémon-themed wedding and engagement rings, a lifelong-remembered event featuring Pokémon is within reach! Pokémon Garden Wedding goods will be sold in Pokémon Center stores starting from May 14th, and offered online on the Pokémon Center website starting from May 12th.
The Japan-based graniph, which describes itself as a "Japanese art apparel pioneer", and the world-known casual apparel brand UNIQLO, have each listed a range of new clothing items featuring popular Pokémon, in a continuation of each brand's popular collaborations with The Pokémon Company for licensed apparel.
The eSports brand JCG, which deals with eSports tournament managment, stream studio rental, consulting, has partnered with The Pokémon Company to start a series of one-day Pokémon UNITE online tournament events, called Pokémon UNITE Challenge DAY. JCG previously hosted the Pokémon UNITE Winter tournament in December and January.
From April 23rd, the Pokémon Café locations in Tokyo and Osaka will be releasing a range of new original Pokémon-themed menu items and tableware. Customers looking to have the Pokémon Café feeling at home will be able to purchase this tableware from the goods center in-shop at each Pokémon Café location. The new additions to the kids' menu, which is exclusivly available to elementary-school-student ages and below, feature "tons of Pikachu". The adults' menu is also expanding with a new original sandwich that promises to be popular with parents, while a Snorlax-themed pancake set is being added to the sweets menu.
Earlier this month, the Japanese company U-TREASURE, who specialize in character-based jewelry, released a new set of rings in their Pokémon accessory line. The new rings feature a cute designs that showcase Gengar in mischievous poses. Both wedding and engagement rings are available.
The Japanese branch of world-renowned cosmetics company Maybelline New York has announced a special limited release of cosmetic products with a Pikachu motif. The products being offered in this range include mascara, brow pencils, eyeliner, lip shades, and eyeshadow. At this time, the collection has only been announced for sale within Japan. The official release of the items will be on Saturday, April 9th, however presales will be available from select Japanese stores from March 25th.
The Pokémon anime will celebrate its 25th anniversary on April 1st. To commemorate this occasion, a one-hour anime special, featuring two Pokémon Journeys: The Series episodes, has been announced. VS shitennou 1jikan batoru supesharu (VS四天王1時間バトルスペシャル - VS The Elite Four 1 Hour Battle Special) will feature both new and returning characters, including the first Pokémon Journeys appearances of Clemont and Bonnie, who traveled with Ash in the Kalos region in Pokémon the Series: XY. The specials will air on TV Tokyo on April 1st, from 6.55 P.M. JST to 7.55 P.M. JST. The first episode of the Pokémon anime aired in Japan on April 1st, 1997.
KOTOBUKIYA has opened preorders for the latest figures in their Pokémon Series ARTFX J collection, set to be released in Japan in July. Lucas, the well-loved male protagonist of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games, is featured in this figure standing with his partner Pokémon Chimchar. Lucas is wearing his Pokétch and signature red scarf, while Chimchar is sitting on a rock. The Poké Ball on the figure's base is coloured blue, in a match the colouring used for Pokémon Diamond.
The global lifestyle brand CASETiFY has announced a new wave of items in their popular "Pokémon and CASETiFY" collaboration project, which will be releasing worldwide on March 22nd at 1am (PST). CASETiFY Club members will receive priority access to the new range with an early launch on March 21st at 9pm (PST).
The Pokémon Company, in collaboration with the eSports marketing company CyberZ, will be hosting "Pokémon UNITE Winter Tournament FINAL" on Saturday, March 5th. The conclusion to the Japan-only first official offline Pokémon UNITE Tournament, this tournament will be livestreamed on the official Japanese language Pokémon UNITE YouTube channel starting from 12:30pm JST. The tournament livestream will be hosted by Refu and Yu Mizukami (水上侑), with additional live reporting from Kousuke Hiraiwa (平岩康佑) and Shohei Shibata (柴田将平).
On February 25, the final member of TV Tokyo's new Pokémon variety show, "Pokémon to doko iku?!" (Where do we go with Pokémon?!), or PokéDoko, was revealed. Popular actress, model, and variety entertainer, and new Pokémon fan Hikaru Takahashi (髙橋ひかる) will join the crew of PokéDoko as a "PokéRookie". PokéDoko will be airing on TV Tokyo every Sunday at 8:00am JST, starting April 3rd.
To commemorate the Japanese holiday of "Ninja Day", which is held on February 22, three new Poké Lids were installed this week in Shiga Prefecture. Poké Lids are manhole covers that are installed in different locations across Japan, where "manhole-spotting" is a hobby held by some. These Poké Lids were originally designed covers help drive tourism, both local and foreign, to these areas, and also act as PokéStops for the Pokémon GO mobile game.